July 22, 2016 / 9:17 PM / 2 years ago

Pemex plans to speed up fuel imports as refinery closure continues

MEXICO CITY, July 22 (Reuters) - Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex will speed up already scheduled fuel imports as the complete shutdown of its fourth-largest refinery enters its fourth day, an official with knowledge of the plans said on Friday.

Pemex, which operates six domestic refineries, is also making contingency plans to import additional gasoline and diesel cargos of about 100,000 barrels per day to offset the unexpected loss of output, the person said.

The Mexican oil giant has not indicated when it expects the refinery to resume normal production, and its press office did not respond to requests for comment.

The Cadereyta refinery in northern Nuevo Leon state stopped operating on Tuesday due to what the company described as a water shortage needed to supply the facilities boilers.

The refinery’s fuel storage capacity can sustain local distribution of gasoline and diesel at normal levels for only a few days during a shutdown, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Once local inventories are exhausted, the company will seek to transport fuel from elsewhere in Mexico to the distributors that Cadereyta normally supplies.

“Imports as a share of consumption will grow in July and August,” the source said, adding that the precise volume of additional imports that may be needed is not yet known.

“The size of the problem depends on the duration of the total shutdown,” the source added.

The sped up imports and new supplies will be used to compensate for Cadereyta’s lost fuel production, which so far this year features average production of about 66,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Pemex’s Magna gasoline and 41,000 bpd of ultra low sulfur diesel, according to energy ministry data. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by David Gregorio)

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